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First elephant born at Oklahoma City zoo

UPI News Service, 04/17/2011 

After years of considered planning and waiting, the first elephant born at the Oklahoma City Zoo was delivered, the zoo's elephant supervisor said.

Elephant supervisor Nick Newby said the mother Asha and the 304-pound Asian elephant calf, born Friday and as yet unnamed, are both doing well, The Oklahoman reported Sunday.

"We all think of them as our family," Newby said. "When she has a calf, it's like having a child of your own."

Zoo veterinarians noticed a rise in Asha's hormone last Sunday and expected a birth within a few days so they began their preparations.

Asha went into labor about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The delivery took a little longer than expected with the elephant in hard labor for 24 hours, the zoo's Director of Veterinary Services, Jennifer D'Agostino, said on The Oklahoman's video link.

After about a half an hour of examinations, vets and zookeepers slipped a harness under the calf to help her feet so she could walk in a stable manner.

"She's actually a very, very strong, very feisty little calf," D'Agostino said. "I think she's going to be a hoot and a half."

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Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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